Tuesday 25 January 2022

Exchange rate rises again

The value of the dollar in the Monex increased almost ¢11 in 13 days, reaching, this Tuesday, an average of ¢640.82. At financial institutions, sale prices ranged between ¢642 and ¢647, without considering exchange houses

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QCOSTARICA – The dollar exchange rose again, after the fall it registered on November 25. The average value of the currency in the Monex market increased ¢10.91 in 13 days, reaching this Tuesday, December 7, ¢640.82.

The arrival of foreign visitors is one of the main sources of dollars, however, it has not yet recovered to the levels it had before the pandemic. In the photo, the arrival in Limón of the first cruise of the 2021-2022 season. (Courtesy Municipality of Limón)

At the financial entities, the currency traded at between ¢642 and ¢647 for the sell, without considering the exchange houses. The Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), for example, maintained the sell rate at ¢646, at noon this Tuesday; the private bank, BAC, it maintained it at ¢645.

The increase comes at a time when there is generally an abundance of foreign exchange; However, Daniel Ortiz, director of the consulting firm Cefsa, cited several factors that may explain the increase: one may be related to the payment of a bond for about US$350 million dollars that the Government will make next Friday, which implies greater demand for the currency.

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According to Ortiz, the statistics published by the Central Bank reveal that the Government has the resources to pay this debt, but in colones, and the instrument is denominated in dollars. As of December 2, the Government had US$40 million in its accounts in dollars at the Central Bank and ¢305,76 billion in its accounts in colones.

“Until now we have not bought foreign currency, therefore, that is not the reason for the increase in the price of the dollar, even during this week we will disburse some loans and also for tomorrow (December 8) we have an auction in dollars, it will be from hence, we will know with certainty the amount of dollars that we will buy through the Central Bank,” said the Minister of Finance, Elian Villegas,

The Government buys the foreign currency it requires from the Central Bank, which sells it from its reserves and then the exchange authority buys it from Monex, according to market conditions.

Other reasons that have pushed the price of the dollar higher are expectations of a variation in the market exchange rate, the higher oil bill, the needs of the non-banking public system and the still gradual recovery of tourism.

In November, according to the information published by the Central Bank, the expectation of a 12-month exchange rate variation, in market negotiations, was 5.24%; close to the percentage registered since last August.

According to information provided by the Central Bank, in October Costa Rica paid US$137.6 million for the import of fuels, 87.5% more than what it paid in October 2020.

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In the private market, the currency surplus was maintained last week. Between November 30 and December 3, financial entities bought US$527.4 million from the public and sold US$491 million, which generated a surplus of close to US$36 million.

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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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